BY JACKIE JONES
It doesn’t take a trip to the deal- ership for consumers to test out a new car anymore — a fact manufacturers are keenly aware
of. By embracing direct response,
auto marketers are engaging more
consumers through the digital space
and seeing the results in-store.
Auto marketing is no longer limited to catchy TV spots or print
ads, but now includes the need to interact with consumers on the
Internet. A successful Web site is crucial to more sales on the
lot, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which evaluates auto
manufacturers’ sites twice yearly.
“Consumers shopping for cars want to easily find information,
they want Web sites to be intuitive in their navigation and they
need to get to information quickly enough,” says Arianne Walker,
director of marketing and research at J.D. Power and Associates.
“It’s all about effectively driving consumers to the key informa-
J.D. Power and Associates recently released its 11th annual
Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study for 2010. According
to Walker, consumers who begin their car shopping online are
consistently looking for four key things: informative content, func-
tional navigation, clean appearance and speed. Auto manufacturers
that are finding the most success are the ones using online tools to
engage with customers.
“It’s not just about listing the features of the car on a site or
having brochures up online,” Walker said. “It’s about using the
technology we have with the Internet to demonstrate as much as